HRC: The Mandatory HIV testing is in conflict with the internationally agreed principles and practices
THE Human Rights Commission (HRC) has urged government to revisit the mandatory HIV testing policy which was declared by President Edgar Lungu yesterday saying that it is conflict with the international agreed principles of reducing the spread of the disease.
In a statement yesterday, HRC Chairperson Mudford Mwandenga also warned government against violating human rights during the course of implementing of the said policy.
“The HRC would like to particularly call upon the Government to revisit the recent policy pronouncement on mandatory HIV testing because it is in conflict with the internationally agreed principles and practices on reducing the spread of HIV and mitigating the impact of AIDS,” Mwandenga said.
“It is important that government also adheres to the United Nations (UN) guideline on HIV testing and counseling as articulated through the joint UN Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) which discourages mandatory HIV testing on public health grounds and respect for human rights,” Mwandenga said.
He said it is regrettable that government may be formulating a policy that is in breach of international norms on HIV Testing and Counseling and in multiple violation of human rights such as the right to non-discrimination, bodily integrity, and the right to be free from violation.
“The Commission notes that while the decision of the Government to introduce mandatory HIV Testing may have been well intended, it has the negative potential of rolling back the fight against the spread of HIV and mitigating the impact of AIDS. Voluntary HIV Testing remains the most preferred effective mode of fighting HIV because it is anchored on sound public health practice and respect for human rights as guided by the UN through UNAIDS and WHO,” said Mwandenga
Health Minister Masebo in Geneva for the World Health Assembly
THE Minister of Health, Ms. Sylvia T. Masebo is in Geneva, Switzerland attending the 72nd Health Ministers Conference for East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) which was happening as pre-event to the World Health Assembly.
The ECSA Health Community which will be celebrating 50 years of existence in 2024, is an inter-governmental health organization that fosters and promotes regional cooperation in health among member states. Member states of the ECSA Health Community are Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Eswatini, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
During the Ministers conference, Hon. Masebo emphasized the need for countries to increase domestic financing for the health sector and slowly decrease the donor or external funding. She further highlighted the need to discuss appropriate strategies that would foster regional collaboration that would benefit our countries in many different ways.
The ministers discussed many aspects common to the region including Disease Surveillance and TB, National TB Reference Labs, TB in the Mining Sector and Health Emergencies. They further discussed the human resource for health (HRH) capacity building especially through the colleges and the need to increase the output from the various specialist colleges.
The ministers unanimously agreed that health challenges that the region faces demand a more robust and coordinated response and ECSA-HC provides the platform to work together for the achievement of common goals.
The conference was attended by Health Ministers from East, Central and Southern Africa counties, including Zimbabwe Vice President Dr Christantino Chiwenga who is also Minister of Health.
Minister of Health takes a swipe at nurses
MINISTER of Health Sylvia Masebo has taken a swipe at the nurses advising them to keep fake eyelashes, long nails and high heels away from the hospital ward.
Ms Masebo has described as unprofessional the type of dressing that has been exhibited by some nurses who are fond of putting up an appearance not fit for the noble profession.
“Go back to your uniforms. Let us get back to the real profession of a nurse. Do not let your dressing be restrictive towards work. The type of dressing where a nurse has long nails, fake eyelashes, short dresses and wearing heels is not for the hospital,” Ms Masebo said.
She said this during the commemoration of Nurses Day in Ndola.
Meanwhile, she said there is a need to bridge the gap between and reduce the nurse to patient ratio so as to scale down on the number of bedsiders.
“It is only in Zambia where we have patients being looked after by the family members that bring them to the hospital when sick. It is supposed to be nurses to look after patients. I know the numbers of nurses are low, so we want to start increasing the numbers this year so that we have more nurses in wards to reduce family members,” she said.
On the other hand, Copperbelt Minister Elisha advised nurses to embrace prayer during their line of work.
“You cannot separate prayer from your work. We only have the greatest physician who ever lived, which is Jesus and so as you do your work, add prayer because it is the first priority,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 13th May, 2023)
ZAMRA alert on substandard cough syrup which has caused the death of some children in Cameroon
FOLLOWING reports of a paediatric cough syrup which has been identified to be the cause of deaths of some children in Cameroon, the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has given out caution.